'Drug consumption room will cut terrible amount of deaths'

Hugh has struggled with addiction for the last three decades.

The 53-year-old injects cocaine about six times a day – sometimes in a needle-strewn alley off Trongate in Glasgow city centre.

He spoke candidly about his experience to the BBC as the UK’s first official consumption room for illegal drugs – including heroin and cocaine – was approved by the city’s authorities.

The facility is backed by the Scottish government as a way to tackle the country’s drugs deaths crisis.

The pilot scheme will be based at a health centre in the east end of Glasgow.

It will see users take their own drugs under the supervision of trained health professionals.

“It will cut down a terrible amount of deaths”, said Hugh.

The idea of safe consumption rooms has been discussed for years but it is able to go ahead now after Scotland’s senior law officer said users would not be prosecuted for possessing illegal drugs while at the facility.

Glasgow’s Integration Joint Board, which brings together NHS and council officials, ratified the plans at an online meeting on Wednesday morning.

The consumption room plan is supported by Scottish National Party, Labour and Liberal Democrat politicians but the UK Home Office insists “there is no safe way to take illegal drugs”.


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